I'm not talking about phones necessarily...but the service itself - as far as reliability and connectivity wherever you are.
That question is a difficult one to answer because of all the different parts to the equation.
For instance, from which type of phone you have to where you live and where you travel, and so many more things to consider, it's almost a crap shoot.
ConsumerSearch.com said, "Staying connected is no longer a matter of choosing the cheapest cell phone plan with the right number of talk and text minutes. Geographic coverage, customer service, data bundling, shared data, network reliability and speed are all things to consider when selecting the best cell phone provider and the right cell phone plan for you."
But, there is one thing I do know, and after years of trying my luck and dealing with many different phone companies, I can tell you this -
All phone companies suck.
But since we do have to have our cellphones, we might as well have the least of all evils.
Consumer Reports at money.cnn.com says, "AT&T scored a surprising coup in the annual Consumer Reports survey of the top cell phone service providers. Verizon( ) has by far the largest 4G-LTE network, serving more than 400 markets, compared to just over 100 for AT&T ( ) and more than 40 for Sprint ( ). But AT&T customers reported the fewest 4G-related problems of any carrier, including service interruptions, slow speeds or lack of service."
Choosing a cell phone carrier is not as simple as it first seems. You have to consider the cost, the geographic coverage, the actual performance of the service and even how helpful the carrier's customer support is in order to make the right choice for you. Shop Amazon - Contract Cell Phones & Service Plans
Consumer Search ratings has a great overall article on this- "AT&T is judged to be the fastest nationwide and in each region of the country. Verizon is named a better choice in rural and suburban areas because of the wider reach of its 4G network." Click here to read more about their findings.
Overall, here's my personal thoughts and the rundown:
AT&T: Even though the customer service isn't the best (but not the worst either), I found that the coverage is tops. I live in FLA, so that may make a difference, but even when we went to Nova Scotia , of all our friends, we were the only ones that had great service up there, everyone else had none, or sparse connectivity. And no matter where we go, it seems we always have a great signal (except when we were recently in Colorado up on top of Mt. Evans...but I can forgive them for that; we were at over 14,000 ft.! LOL...) So if you are most worried about service connect-ability you'll want AT&T. (Plus, they have a great deal right now with the brand new Amazon Fire Phone, 32GB (AT&T).
Verizon:Verizon seems to take the cake in all other fields. They have pretty good customer service, and a great choice of plans, as well as rating the top in almost all the surveys I've seen. They are really popular right now because of the new waterproof and super cool Galaxy S5 phone.
For a limited time, get the Samsung Galaxy S5 for a great price when you activate a new line of service with Verizon. ConsumerSearch said, "Verizon Wireless outclasses other nationwide carriers in terms of call quality and LTE coverage, earning it lots of praise from experts and users. However, plans can be pricey and customer service isn't always as helpful as it could be."
T-Mobile: T-Mobile's prices are as good as they come, its download speeds are faster than anyone else's, and it offers truly unlimited data. But since its network is growing, some cities still don't have access to 4G LTE service. AT&T and Verizon are better with that area.
US Cellular: I've not had any experience with this company so I referred to; Consumer Search which stated that the pros are: Talk and text only plans, Strong regional coverage, Good customer service, Competitive pricing. And Cons are; Limited geographic coverage, and Limited handset (phone) choices.
Sprint: This I can tell you for sure... in my experience Sprint is the worst of the worst. You may have had a different experience, but I can honestly say that I wouldn't have Sprint as my cell phone company for any reason period. They are the worst in connectivity and in customer service. The call quality sucks. Their only saving grace (for some) is their guarantee of unlimited data plan thing. LOL, it's not worth it if there's crappy signal everywhere! See for yourself what Consumer Search said, here.
So that's that. In my humble opinion AT&T and Verizon win this one hands down, unless you live in a urban area...then I would opt for T-Mobile. But if you travel (at all) take the AT&T or Verizon. Shop Amazon - Contract Cell Phones & Service Plans .
Oh, and don't forget the bluetooth speakers for listening to all your fave music on your phone wherever you are.